Brit indie quartet Alt-J are celebrating taking home ‘the ultimate kind of award’ after emerging winners of the 2012 Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize.
Last night (Thursday, November 1), the band’s debut album An Awesome Wave was chosen the winner of the prestigious prize by a panel of judges that included Corinne Bailey Rae, Rob Da Bank and Simon Frith.
The 12 album shortlist was whittled down from 250 entries and Alt-J were up against names including Jessie Ware, Lianne La Havas and Richard Hawley. The band were firm bookies’ favourites when the shortlist was announced in September – leading ahead with odds of 7/4.
Speaking to Music Week on the win, Alt-J keyboard player Gus Unger-Hamilton - brother of Polydor UK boss Ferdy - said: "There's things you can aim for as a band, you can be a band that makes loads of money, or a band that plays amazing huge venues, but I think we're definitely a band that would want to win the Mercury.
“That’s something we take really seriously as an awards, we’ve all for years now watched it and to be nominated it’s incredible. To win it’s just like that’s it, you're now forever a Mercury winner it’s like...Jesus Christ…yeah.
"It's just one prize, one album, one awards and its collected enough respect over the last 20 years to be actually regarded as just the arguably still the ultimate kind of award, because the album is still the best thing to come out of an artist.
“We’re an album band as well, we’re not a singles band or a band that has amazing huge live shows that are all crazy, we took the album really seriously when we made it, we always just wanted to make an album, that was always our aim as a band."
Alt-J formed in 2007 when Joe Newman, Gwil Sainsbury, Thom Green and Gus Unger-Hamilton met at Leeds University. The band signed a deal with independent label Infectious Records in 2011. An Awesome Wave was released in May 2012.